tv PBS News Hour PBS November 2, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. welcome to this special election night edition of the pbs newshour. republicans are hoping for a big night in this mid-term election of 2010. democrats are trying to hang tough. >> ifill: i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight we'll have the latest results and reporting from our entire newshour team. including mark shields and david brooks, david chalian and stewart rothenberg, updates from republican headquarters and senator reed's headquarters in nevada plus field reports from our pbs colleagues in key states. >> lehrer: all ahead on tonight's newshour.
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> lehrer: the polls have now closed in 39 states. republicans have scored some
gains but not a blow-out yet. that's based on projections by the associated press. the republicans need 39 seats to take control of the house. ten to win a majority in the senate. our overview shows that so far republicans have picked up two democratic senate seats in indiana and in arkansas. in the house, there's been a republican net gain thus far of five. and in the governor's races there's been a party switch of two republican gubernatorial positions have switched from democratic to republican. now with details on what's happened so far, here's hari sreenivasan in our news room. >> sreenivasan: good even, jim. one of those key senate races that was so important for democrats to hold on to we're going to start our results tonight. we're talking of course about west virginia. governor joe manchin trying to fill the seat of robert byrd. the associated press projects him as the winner. next up we have connecticut senator or i should say, well,
soon to be senator attorney general richard blumenthal there. he is defeating linda mcmahon, of course, from the pro wrestling tycoon. following up we have delaware senate race that a lot of people started to pay attention to. we have chris coons the democrat beating out christine o'donnell the republican. and in arkansas now, we've got a projection from the ll... the democrathat blanch blanch lincoln here will lose to john bozeman the republican. in florida, a race that so many people have been following, the three-way race between ken derrick meek, marco rubio and charlie crist. the associated press with 39% of the precincts reporting is projecting that mark owe marco rubio the republican will win the florida senate seat. transitioning to governor's race with 34% of the precincts reporting there's still not enough information to figure out who will win this. but at the moment, rick scott
the republican leads alex sink by about 5%. he's got 51%. she's got 46. in georgia, the governor's race right now it's looking like nathan deal, 59%, the republican nathan deal over democrat roy barnes but again it hasn't been projected as a winner yet but this is an update that we have for you at this moment tonight. in the south carolina governor's race we've got republican nicky haley in a dead heat with democrat vincent shaheen for the governor's race there. and that's with 21% of the precincts reporting at this point. finally a couple of interesting races to tell you about. one is the virginia 5th district. this is a race between tom perriello and right now the republican robert hurt is projected to win this by a small margin. and this is significant primarily because he was... this is a very tough district. tom perriello was a freshman congressman.
he took by barack obama and president obama trieded to support him just recently. finally we just have the associated press has announced that andrew cuomo democrat in new york will be the next governor there over carl paladino. not that big of a surprise. that's the results. we'll probably have a few more later in the hour. jim? >> lehrer: here with now are syndicated columnist mark shields and new york time columnist david brooks the big one thus far on the to do list the blow-out list for the republicans was to win in west virginia. the senate race. but joe manchin the democrat won. is that... can that be considered an indicator in. >> the senate for sure. i mean if you take the connecticut result, the delaware result and the west virginia result you've got the democrats won all three, it now becomes impossible or extremely difficult for the republicans to take control of the senate. not exactly a surprise but it could have been a landslide night in both houses. we're probably not going to see that manchin ran a very
good race. very popular figure. very dramatic ad where he took out a gun and shot the cap and trade bill to show he was against some of the washington bills. but the bottom line on that is republicans probably not going to take the senate. >> lehrer: do you agree with that in terms of the overview, mark? >> i do. i do, jim. i think that it would have been a catastrophe and a tragedy for democrats if in fact the same year they had lost edward kennedy's seat and robert byrd's seat in west virginia. they did lose edward kennedy's seat earlier this year when scott brown pulled the upset in massachusetts. >> lehrer: blumenthal went in in connecticut, coons in delaware and manchin in west virginia. did they overcome a tide or were they just better candidates or were the candidates against them flawed candidates? >> i don't think there's any question that in the case of the republican establishment, their choices, the candidates they backed in the primary who
would have been stronger against both blumenthal and coons in delaware, blumenthal in connecticut, they backed rob simmons the former moderate republican congressman with distinguished military record of his own in connecticut. he was overwhelmed and outspent by linda mcmahon of the world wrestling enterprise. and in delaware, i don't think there's anybody who questions that mike castle in this year, the nine-term republican congressman, former governor, two terms, enormously popular, lost to christine o'donnell in the primary would have won that seat for the republicans so we have a little different... >> lehrer: a flawed candidate? >> we should remember these are all democratic seats. i mean these are the blue states in west virginia, long- time democratic seat. it would have taken a pretty inept democratic candidate to lose there. i think it's been a good night for pollster s so far.
if you look at how.... >> lehrer: thinking the same thing. >> they projected these races and some of the house races pretty much what they projected in the house pretty significant wave for the republicans in the senate. these races all going for the democrats. so far the science of polling has had a pretty good night. >> lehrer: there's not been one surprise. have you had any surprises thus far, mark? >> not really, jim. there's been so much good analysis i think this year that you are kind of alerted to where there were surprises. the one thing about connecticut and simmons would have a match-up against blumenthal given blumenthal's stumble over his embellished military record and his service in vietnam which was nonexistent. >> lehrer: pennsylvania, sestak versus toomey. that is another one of these big indicator... that is a democratic seat that was held by arlen specter. >> a democrat. >> lehrer: he was defeated by sestak.
toomey, not a tea party republican. an establishment republican. >> well, there was part of the.... >> lehrer: explain. >> for growth is a free market group that predated the tea party but way was running candidates against establishment republicans on similar grounds i guess i could say. >> their obsession is taxes. i mean, they require their candidates to take a no tax pledge. that they back. >> lehrer: the other one of course coming is illinois which is also considered a toss-up. of course that's president obama's old seat. >> that would have been the twin tragedy as well. if the vice president's seat in delaware had gone down to the republicans tonight, which it hasn't. and then the president's seat in illinois which has been occupied by roland burris where alexei giannoulias ran against mark kirk. it's a toss-up race.
the people i talked to in the last couple of days felt that kirk had a slight edge going in. >> lehrer: i gave an overview a minute ago on the house. those results coming later and of course they don't have the intensity of being called by the associated press and all of that. the endangered democrats, the well known democrats we mentioned a couple of them have lost. so we'll see or we'll know more about that, about the ultimate control. right now they're only up, they need 39 seats as we reported a moment ago. now they have six. we'll continue to watch that. but now let's go to judy woodruff. >> woodruff: and we do turn to some newshour team members who are out in the field tonight. ray suarez is at senate majority leader harry reid's headquarters at the aria casino and resort in las vegas, nevada. geoffrey brown is right here in washington d.c. at the grand hyatt hotel. that's downtown. it is the headquarters for the republican congressional
campaign committee. jeff, when we talk to you a little while ago you said there was sort of a studied low key atmosphere. now that we know the republicans are picking up some seats, are they allowing themselves to display any more enthusiasm. >> brown: in a word, judy, yes. no balloons still but a lot more excitement. the room has picked up since we started. a lot of people behind the camera you can't see. behind me there have been some speeches. they've been announcing some of the victories. they've been, of course, in particularly focusing on the pick-ups. as they announce some of them, it gets a big cheer here. we were able to talk to michael steele, the republican chairman committee chairman. he told us that there's good signs early. he says it's still going to be a long night. he says they want to maintain the momentum of this night. we asked him about the problem of uniting tea party victors
now candidates like rand paul. he says they will unite themselves. i should tell you we also talked to an aide to john boehner. the likely coming speaker here or the man who would be speaker. i says they're happy with the early results. in particular they pointed to a race that i heard harry announce earlier, tom perriello, the republican house candidate going down. i'm sorry. the democrat who won two years ago. of course as they announced that they were very happy to say that president obama had been campaigning for mr. perriello earlier this week. that still did not save him. yes, it's picking up here. >> woodruff: now, let's turn to our colleague ray suarez who is in denver. as we were saying, ray, you mentioned earlier when we spoke to you tonight that you've been around to some of the polling places. any better feel for turnout and whether that's helping one side or another in a all-
important senate race between harry reid and his challenger sharron angle? >> this race had been the focus of so much national attention and a tremendous amount of spending that there was an assumption among both parties, partisans, that there would be very high turnout here in nevada on election day. some of those projections seem not to be coming true. in the rural areas to the northern part of the state, the republicans are turning out their vote. but they work with a tremendous registration disadvantage to democrats in this state. down here in las vegas in clark county one of the major population centers of the state, you're not seeing what was expected to be seen in a sort of tidal-wavy lex. the registrar near clark county had predicted a very high turnout, and by lunchtime today he was backing off those earlier projections and saying that this was going to be more like a regular mid-term election rather than some big
tidal-wave change election. he was backing off his projections by as many as 40,000 votes by the end of the day. which means that the early vote, the ground game in identifyably republican and democratic precincts is going to be what tells the tale here. but interestingly, nevada is the only state in the union which in the united states senate races allows a voter to choose none of the above candidates. in a very close race in 2006 in the last senate race none of the above got 1.4%. if it's that close between sharron angle and harry reid tonight, none of the above may hold the margin of victory. >> woodruff: which is what a lot of people are watching for. back to jeff brown here in washington. jeff, we know that the republicans are rolling out some of their principal spokes people. haley barbour, the head of the governors association and soon tonight i think you're going
to hear from mitch mcconnell the senate majority leader. i think you mentioned earlier john boehner. is there a theme to the message you're expecting to hear from them? >> well, the theme started early on from the first speakers which was it's really what we've been hearing throughout the campaign. time to end democratic rule. time to roll back many of the president's policies. and most of all listen to the american people. again this goes back to what you and i talked about earlier tonight, judy, and to your interview last night with haley barbour who will be speaking here in a little while. the notion that, yes, we expect to win tonight. let's not say it's all about us. let's listen to the american people. they want change. we must hear them. we'll go forward on that. that goes back to... i said it's not studied calm anymore here, but it is still lowering the expectations and, you know, not crowing. it's sort of, yes, we're going to win.
we hope to win big. and then we'll go forward with the people. that's still the sentiment here. >> woodruff: all right. jeff brown at republican headquarters i guess i could call it. downtown washington. ray suarez in las vegas. and we're going to be coming back to both of you as the night wears on. ray, jeff, thank you. >> thanks, judy. >> lehrer: in kentucky as we reported republican rand paul has won his bid for the open senate seat. the tea party favorite spoke to supporters in bowling green, kentucky. >> they say that the u.s. senate is world's most deliberative body. i'm going to ask them to deliberate upon this. the american people are unhappy with what's going on in washington. (crowd: yeah! ). >> 11% of the people approve of what's going on in congress. but tonight there's a tea party tidal wave, and we're
sending a message to them. ( cheers and applause ) >> ifill: here with me now are newshour political editor david chalian and stu rothenberg. we just heard from rand paul. he is a perfect example of something we've seen building tonight which is a lot of tea party backed candidates having a good night. let's start in florida where we saw marco rubio who of course is the darling of the tea party and the former house speaker in florida who was running against two people. charlie crist the current governor and ken derrick meek the democratic nominee. current congressman. what happened there, david? >> gwen, nationally the tea party 4 in 10 voters. 40% of the electorate told exit pollsters that they are supportive of the tea party movement. approve of them. marco rubio was put on the covers of magazines early on and said this is the first tea party candidate. he up-ended the republican establishment in his state by going after the sitting
governor charlie crist. crist felt compelled to run as an independent. >> ifill: in the final weeks the democrats were trying to get their own nominee to step aside hoping that would stop the rub yo train. >> i remember thinking back to earlier in the year when marco rubio decided to challenge charlie crist for nomination. you have to think back to what the environment was like. most people thought that marco rubio was just crazy. the crist numbers were terrific. a huge expensive state with many expensive media markets. he kind of caught fire. we should have seen it then. i think some of us wondered was this an aberration. it's starting to show other places. >> ifill: i was in kentucky a very few weeks ago and that was when just before jack conway began to throw everything he had at rand paul and it didn't quite stick. rand paul the next senator from kentucky is going to join mitch mcconnell. you didn't hear anything sounding very senatorial in terms of i'm part of the club now from that speech. >> he said it didn't quite
stick what jack conway tried to throw his way. it backfired in his face. there was allegations of his youthful... you know, jack conway accused rand paul of being associated with an anti-christian group back in his college. they put an ad on about a female co-ed and what they did in college. the kentucky voters wanted no part of that. it felt too long ago for them really not germane to this race. that add for democrat jack conway was the nail in his coffin. he was already slipping away. >> ifill: we have to say a final... put a final nail in the coffin of the delaware senate race which got a lot of attention year partly because of the woman who lost tonight by what looks like it is going to be a large number which is christine o'donnell. she lost to chris coons. we saw joe biden trying to make sure that his seat stayed in democratic hands. >> in kentucky it didn't matter with the tea party nominee candidate was a republican nominee. in delaware it mattered.
mike castle the republican congressman moderate to liberal republican congressman i believe would have won this state. and christine o'donnell has lost it. there's a case where the... they won the battle and they lost the war the tea party. >> ifill: we're waiting on one other big party candidate in south carolina nicky haley who of course got her campaign got saved when she was endorsed by sarah palin. we haven't heard yet what's going on there. it's tight. >> 32% of precincts reporting she's trailing a little bit. the democrat right now. >> ifill: shaheen. >> nicky haley obviously, if she does pull this race out, she has the support of sarah palin. that helped her very much in the primary. she also will be a new face of the republican party as a young indian-american woman. she could be a bit of a rock star inside the party if she wins. >> ifill: stu, we're watching house races telling us interesting things. it's a point that the president has been making lately and the white house has
been making lately. a lot of our democrats were running in districts that john mccain won in 2008. we're watching them one by one. let's start with indiana where we saw hill the incumbent los to todd young. >> barack obama got 48% in this district. john kerry got 40%. this is a republican district in the south eastern corner of the state. hill is a good, good campaigner. he has won in other difficult environments. although he was defeated once in 2004. but this time the wave was too strong. clearly it was strong in indiana. >> ifill: virginia is not doing so well for the president. we see tom perriello whowas a democrat running with the president losing his race as well. >> yes. gwen, when the campaign season starts, the first thing that a committee campaign chairman does is take a look at that presidential vote by the districts. there are 48 democrats sitting in districts that john mccain won. when you have an environment like this and you're already an unfriendly territory it
just makes it almost an impossible year for you. tom perriello suffered that fate. >> remember both perriello and hill voted for the stimulus, for cap and trade, for health care. 3-for-3 in difficult districts. >> ifill: thank you. we'll take the rest of them as the night goes along. thanks a lot. >> lehrer: now with more on what's happened so far here is hari sreenivasan in our news room. >> sreenivasan: thanks, jim. as gwen went over some of the key house races, let me get you up to speed with one of the most recent projections we have and give you a snapshot cof the republans' attempt to try and control the senate. les look at the texas governor's race right now. rick perry an unprecedented fourth term the ap is projecting the winner there. also in indiana the senate race was a pick-up of senator evan buy's seat by republican dan coats and i should say in the night arkansas senator blanch lincoln lost the spot to john bozeman the republican there. not a republican there in more than 100 years. they picked up that seat.
in north dakota john hobin picked up a seat there. the republican beating out democrat tracy potter. and then came west virginia. a little difficulty in trying to keep that roll going. joe manchin secured that seat. that was imp robert byrd's seat and then finally in illinois, we're going to give you an update on that. we'll try and have those numbers later. we'll get back to you later in the hour. jim? >> lehrer: next we go back to >judy.> woodruff: and polls arew closed in the states of pennsylvania and ohio. so joining us for an update on those races or races in those two states are james owe tool, the politics editor for the pittsburgh post gazette. and karen kasler, a state house bureau chief for ohio public radio and television. she is in columbus. jim, i'm going to start wu. all eyes have been on the state of pennsylvania. hot senate race. and a governor's race that's been overlooked. bring us up to speed on what's
been going on in your governor's race. >> well, right now dan has a slight lead, very slight lead over the republican candidate. that's a little deceptive because the returns we have so far are disproportionately from philadelphia and allegheny county the two big democratic strongholds. what we haven't heard from are the big counties around philadelphia, bucks, montgomery, chester, which have really become the fulcrum of pennsylvania politics. we'll now a lot more when they start to come in. >> woodruff: what about in the senate race that everybody has been watching since arlen specter was defeated in the democratic primary by congressman joe sestak? he's been running a little bit behind the republican. pat toomey. how has that shaped up and what are you seeing in terms of turnout. >> what we've had conflicting reports on turnout. all anecdotal. people have suggested that it's stronger across the state than many anticipated.
philadelphia, bob brady the chairman there, congressman bob brady has said they're on pace to exceed the 41% turnout that they had in 2006, the last midterm. that would be a pretty remarkable result and a strong owe men for democratic candidates for governor and senate. we'll see if that proves to be the case. >> woodruff: let's turn to, from pennsylvania to ohio and to karen kasler. we spoke with you a little earlier this evening. since then the senate race has been called in ohio. but your governor's race is still hanging, if you will. i guess that's a term we can use in politics. what are you hearing not only about turnout but what you see and the ruls and what people on both sides, both parties are say something. >> well, even though this has been a hotly contested midterm election around the country, turnout was expected about 52% in ohio. and it's actually been
downgraded in one county which is where cleveland is. a democratic stronghold. there's been reports of an enthusiasm gap there because of a corruption scandal that's been going on there for quite a while. the democrats are also reporting there was turnout numbers that were lower than expected in some of the southwestern ohio counties which is republican territory. so it will be interesting to start seeing the real results. the early voting, we've been early voting in ohio since september. we're starting to see early voting results come in. strickland our incumbent is leading and in franklin county which is where columbus is. that's a very purple area. it's been very fickle over the years and has gone back and forth. it's interesting to see in early voting that ted strickland is leading. we're start to go see as more results come in, more republicans in the statewide offices are starting to take the lead in their races and right now i believe the governor's race is ted strickland the incumbent, democrat, 49%. john kasich the republican challenger at 47%.
still a very, very close race. >> woodruff: with a lot of votes yet to come in. back to you jim in pittsburgh. you know, everybody across the country is saying jobs and the economy. issue number one. is it that simple in the state of pennsylvania? >> absolutely. the unemployment rate here is not quite as bad as it is in the country as a whole but it's just blotted out the sun in terms of the universe of other issues. >> in terms of the argument that joe sestak has been making, he is a congressman who has voted with the obama administration on some issues but not on all issues. so how has pat toomey been able to successfully portray him as connected to washington, to this administration? >> well, of course, representative sestak accuses or reminds voters that pat toomey was an investment banker. but toomey says, hey, here's
the guy who voted for the bailouts. it's kind of been a contest between the two of them to see which can portray the other as the enabler of wall street excess. >> woodruff: speaking of wall street excess, maybe i'm giving everybody whiplash in terms of running from one state to another. but karen in ohio, wall street has been a factor in your governor's race there. >> absolutely. both the candidates for governor, the democratic candidate for governor and u.s. senator have been trying to use that. they've been using it to former republican congress members. kasich the former congressman and in our senate race portman who also was george w. bush's budget director and trade representative. that reaches over and has been for some time in a way the polls have been showing that rob portman had a 20-point lead on lee fisher the lieutenant governor of ohio. right now portman is giving his acceptance speech and fisher is giving his concession speech. so that race is officially
over in ohio anyway. >> woodruff: we are going to leave it there for now and be checking back in on the results in both of these states. karen in ohio, jim joining us from pittsburgh. thank you both very much. >> lehrer: thank you, judy. we just had word that four of the television networks, cable and over the air networks have now declared that the house of representatives, control of the house of representatives has been won. it's projected it has been won by the republicans. that means it's projected they picked up the 39 seats that it will take to control. we don't have the exact numbers yet. we will get them as the evening plays out. john boehner is going to be the new speaker of the house of representatives. david. >> and the majority whip i guess. that will be the thing that changes washington. what they've planned over the next starting in january and
then for successive months is a series of bills which are going to pass through the house and put up through the senate, cutting spending, repealing bits and pieces of the obama care health care bill. and they aim to take the initiative in washington. and start to push back at spending. and so that will change washington has been run out of the white house. democratic momentum. now at least there will be a lot of currents going the other way. >> lehrer: how successful are they likely to be with this initiative if they take the initiative along the lines that david just outlined? >> a signing ceremony of the bill in the rose garden? i think it's a pretty row moat thing, jim. the last time.... >> lehrer: why? >> first of all, the president is in office for another two years. he has a very powerful veto pen plus the senate we've seen even when there was 60 democrats in the senate and now 59 going in this election, it's impossible to do anything in the senate without 60.
>> lehrer: that applies to the republicans as well as the democrats. the democrats will still have a majority. >> you think the democrats wons exercise their option at this point. i think john boehner right now as of tonight the projections has the toughest job in washington. he really does. i mean, he is now the face of the republican party. he's got a... david mentions that a lot of these people had held office before. he's dealing, jim, with a rambunctious, restless group. very early next year in the spring of 2011 we're going to have to statutorily raise the debt ceiling in this country. it has to be raised from $14 trillion. that requires a vote of congress. everybody stand up. historically the party in control of the congress ha the responsibility of getting the votes. the democrats are expected to support a democratic president. otherwise the government closes down. social security checks
stopped. planes can't fly. i mean everything. port security is ended. the country comes grinding to a halt. he's got at least 45 members of his caucus coming in who want to close down the government. they think that's why they were sent here. john boehner is going to really have a... have his hands full that that doesn't become again the action of the republican party. >> that will be the tough vote. there could be reimbursement votes. there will be a bunch of tough votes. they have said eric cantor said we should not going to shut down the governmental one of the things that strikes me from this as they do take the house is the different atmosphere than when gingrich took the house and a different atmosphere from two years ago. there was a sense of revolutionary fervor, dreams fulfilled. when you talk to the republicans let's not get our expectations too high. there's not a lot we can do all by ourselves. let's not overreach. the country doesn't really like us. let's be reassuring and try to
build some trust. we have to show a very skeptical public that we can govern. they're trying to tamp down the expectations. i think that will be the fundamental problem. as to whether they have all these crazies who will not want to compromise i'm actually a little dubious about that. there will be tough votes on the debt limit and things hike that. most of people who are running have been in legislatures before. they have compromised before. they'll have... it will be tough to control oaf the people in the country but they have a core of professional politicians. >> lehrer: what about boehner? >> well, he's not newt gingrich. he is a legislator. one of the key differences is when gingrich came to power, he controlled all power in the speaker's office. he weakened all the committee chairmen. that goes against john boehner's grain. he has said i'm going to decentralize power away from the speaker's office and give it back to the chairman. that means it won't be a revolution. he won't get much done as fast as gingrich would have liked but it will be more of a normal congressional thing. at least that's what he's
planning. he's a very different character than newt gingrich. >> john boehner is a grown-up. he really is. he's a laej lateor. i mean edward kennedy worked with him on no child left behind. he's somebody whose word has been trusted across the aisle. he came here to make it work. not to sabotage it or blow it up. i'm not as confident, david, that there aren't some real constructionists and troublemakers in that republican group that is coming in. >> lehrer: we'll be back. >> ifill: a short time ago we heard from west virginia democrat joe manchin who won the senate seat held by robert byrd. >> i want to thank all the people in west virginia for believing in me. i really truly appreciate every one of them. you know, we never thought we would ever lose our beloved senator byrd but the good lord had other plans. leaving the governor's office
was one of the toughest decisions i had to make. we achieved so much as a state working together, but i can tell you i'm proud of what we've been able to do. i am proud of every one of our accomplishments. but when i look at what challenges we have ahead of us in washington, i know it's time to take that fight there. >> ifill: i'm joined again by david chalian who is our political editor and stu rothenberg of the. let's start by talking about joe manchin. west virginia is one of a series of states we've been watching tonight to gauge whether there will be a real switch of power in the senate. joe manchin? >> well, this was one the republicans were banking on. they thought this was turning into a terrific opportunity because the president is unpopular there. as long as this race was about barack obama, republican john raese was running even. maybe a point or two ahead. but over the past few weeks, manchin changed the subject. he reestablished his independence.
they liked him. he won. >> ifill: west virginia has not had a republican senator in 50 years even though it's a pretty conservative state. >> it's not just that it no longer became about barack obama and joe manchin declared his independence. stu is right on that but it's that the race became about john raese in a large degree. the democrats were very successful at pointing out he has a home in florida. his wife votes in florida. it made him seem something other and the whole debacle with the ad referring to west virginiaians as hickey blue- collar types and they were trying to cast the actors for that. that did not play very well for john raese in west virginia. >> ifill: another race that the republicans the white house, the obama white house is watching very carefully is the president's home state of illinois. his old seat in this case we still don't know the outcome. we're looking right now at numbers with 37% of the precincts reporting showing alexi giannoulias at 54%. mark kirk at 41%. i don't know if those numbers are indicative of anything so early. >> cook county chicago and the
democratic base in the state has reported a lot of its votes. that's why we see it a little more out of balance at this moment than we will at the end of the night. it is a close race. remember, the race is happening twice on the ballot. voters in illinois are actually voting on this race twice. once to replace roland burris who is leading the senate. and then for the term that begins next january. this is one of those races though that i expect we're going to be up late watching. it has also been a race that defied a lot of the national trends out there because of the two candidates. they were... you had basically the attack of one alexi giannoulias of being a mob banker and mark kirk being untruthful about his record in vietnam. it just got very nasty throughout had entire campaign. >> ifill: have to move on to another one we're watching. this one is in wisconsin. russ feingold the democratic incumbent who everybody thinks is often in washington is out of step with his own party but not out of step enough when it
comes to what's going on with him. >> quirky independent. you heard that about him. that ought to be a good profile for this election. it hasn't turned out that way. we don't know how this election is going to go. >> ifill: 5% reporting but 61% for johnson. 31% for feingold. >> you talk to national democratic strategists very worried about the race. republicans had a tough time finding a recruit. people said who? he's a businessman who never has been involved in politics. if you sat down and talked to him he's clearly not a polished political insider. but, you know, he seems to have struck a cord. russ feingold has tried to reestablish that, you know, you can trust me. you know me. you know what i've done. this may not-the year to remind people what you've done if you're a sitting senator. >> ifill: we'll have a lot more to say about it later on tonight especially with ray out in nevada. we're watching what's going on right now with the reed angle race. sharron angle and harry reid the polls not closed there yet.we're waiting to see whether
harry reid survives. >> if you speak to the reed folks they feel good about their early vote. of course how the election day voters now show up and turn out will have a large component of the final results in this race. what you have here is the best sort of narrative overall on the cycle. you have the washington insider and the majority leader and the tea party candidate. it hits both the insider versus outsider. this is an insurgent energetic force in the republican party. >> senator reed's son is running for governor in a very difficult race. >> ifill: i want to talk about ohio. these house races. we don't want to overlook the fact as jim just mentioned the house is shifting hands in three races in ohio show us why. we're looking especially at ohio 16 with... and house 18 with jack space running against bob gibbs and in house 15 mary jo killroy.
it's amazing. eve one of these races are races in which incull bents a tipping point districts are in trouble. >> yeah. ohio is clearly a problem for democrats. as somebody told me recently that ohio is the new michigan in terms of the economic problems. and this problem is hitting all these democrats. now killroy won very narrowly. this is a repeat. it was a squeaker two years ago. given how the environment changes, it has changed, you can see how she's in big trouble. but jack space wasn't expected to be in a difficult race. bob gibbs was a late recruit by the republicans. he only represents his legislative district. only represents a very small sliver of the congressional district. republicans almost wrote him off because he wasn't a great fund-raiser. they're not writing him off anymore. >> ifill: john boehner was in his home state helping to campaign for bob gibbs only last week. how important is it that this is john boehner's own state. >> he did campaign in a lot of ohio districts and wanted to
have the home state pride. send them to washington expect inning good news that he would become speaker. the 15 congressional district mary jo killroy. that's franklin county. that is the definition of sort of swing independent voter that goes back and forth between elections. it's very indicative that of course the kind of race that when the democrats had the wind at their back in 2006 this kind of district went their way when the wind is all in their face it's the kind of district they would expect to give away. >> ifill: it's the kind of district that we'll determine the control of the house. thank you both very much. >> sure. >> woodruff: well, the polls closed in the state of colorado just a short time ago at 9:00 eastern time. and joining us from denver is megan burly with colorado public radio. i have to say going into today, the analysts all thought this... thought that the race to watch was the senate race. of all the senate races lo and
behold the last few days your governor's race has gotten close. tell us where that stands right now. >> well, that is a race that no one ex-spokted to be close. we've got three candidates running right now. a democrat, mayor ever of denver popular moderate democrat. you have a kind of the ultimate tea party candidate dan mays running as the republican nominee. and challenging him saying this guy is unelectable he had background problems is former congressman tom tancredo running on the american constitution party ticket. he has pulled so much support from the republican party and from the republican ticket that at this point in some polls he's even with the democrat in a race that everybody thought tancredo and mays would split the conservative vote. >> woodruff: we are going to be watching both of them as best we can tell right now. i just looked at some numbers with 5% of the precincts report sog it's very early.
it looks like the democrat in the senate race michael bennett the incumbent who was appointed is running 51 to 44% ahead of ken buck the republican but again it's very early. why is that race so close? it would be interesting to know where the 5% of voters are coming from because as you mentioned that was pulling as the tightest race in the country. what you have is an interesting combination of factors. michael bennett has never stood for election before. even as a democrat he can kind of claim this outsider which has been very strong this year. he's running against ken buck the district attorney for weld county, kind of a rural big rural county here. and he's never run on the state level. he's got a lot of backing from the tea party. he's made some missteps and to back off some positions. michael bennett's campaign has especially in recent weeks really tried to turn the conversation from the economy where they were not doing so
well, where ken buck was doing much better to social issues. there have been a lot of mailers about ken buck's stance on abortion, on other areas like that. you've just seen been bennett drive his base out on the ground strong effort here and in a race that for a long time i think the republicans have really been feeling they could pick up bennett has stayed competitive all the way throughout. it's worth mentioning that this race has overall the most outside spending of any senate race in the country. the mon money has been flowing into it. >> woodruff: tell us about the tea party. what is driving the sea party in the state of colorado? you mentioned it is behind ken buck in the senate race and has been behind dan mays. i gather as you said now the conservatives are coalescing behind the governor candidate tom tan kradtancredo. >> that race split the tea party here. this is a state that has
traditionally been a fairly libertarian-leaning state. and the movement i think in part has picked up on that. you know, how well that jibes with some of the social conservative strains in the tea party movement i think we'll be watching going forward. the mays-tancredo decision-- we've talkd to groups. this has split a lot of tea party groups. we put dan mays up for candidate. he's not perfect. the whole idea is to get somebody from the grass roots who is really outside this process and maybe bruised by it. there are other people in the party saying tom tancredo, you know, he embodied a lot of our values. very, very conservative, anti-ill... ant i illegal immigration. let's go for the guy who is more electable. you're getting some real divisions there. whether the tea party remains a political force in colorado going forward is going to have a lot to do with how they mend those splits no matter what happens tonight.
>> woodruff: some interesting divisions there. we've been hearing, you know, national republican leaders talk about how there are many tea partys and not just one. it sounds like that's what you're seeing in colorado. >> definitely. i haven't heard as much. i think in a lot of places you're seeing a split between fiscally conservative maybe socially libertarian tea party groups. balance the budget. cut spending, you know, we'll figure the social issues out later. the groups that want to keep the social issues at the foreas well you're seeing some of that in colorado. more here it's been they've had to divide their support in the governor's race. they're part of why this has been an all bets are off governor's race. i think those of us in the media watching it, it has taken more twists and turns than anybody ever expected. >> woodruff: at first we thought it would be just the senate race. now it is the both the senate and the governor's race in the state of colorado. megan burly with colorado
public radio we appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. >> lehrer: thank you, judy. a reminder that the big news thus far overview news thus far is that four of the television networks have projected that the republican party is going to win control of the house of representatives. they are going to win. this is all projection now. that they are going to win the 39 seats it's going to take to maintain, to regain control of the house of representatives. meaning that nancy pelosi will no longer be the speaker of the house. and john boehner will replace her as speaker of the house. that is the big news thus far. on the senate side, the overview, as we have said many times and everybody knows the republicans have to pick up 10 senate seats. they have ten seats now held by democrats. thus far they've picked up
three. they haven't had a big, big win yet that was not in the polling cards thus far. there are still several to go in the next hour or two or even before. if they are projected we've got, of course, pennsylvania and illinois. mark, the colorado race that was just very well explained by ms. burly from colorado public radio. that race is interesting how both candidates changesed their messages from one, you know, for their own reasons and as a result, boom, they are neck and neck. it's all ground game now? >> it is. it's a real shootout. i think there's been more outside money spent in colorado than any other state in the union. >> lehrer: that's what she said. >> wall to wall. absolutely right. the thing that is fascinating,
the point i think that is key is that, again, the tea party, ken buck with their choice against jane norton who was an establishment choice former lieutenant governor, sort of a middle of the road republican, conservative to middle of the road. i think she probably qualify been a far less polarizing candidate. i mean the fact that he's come back by using the social issues that ken buck had run on to a large degree in the primary to put him at a disadvantage in colorado which is is sort of a laissez-faire state on these matters i think is probably revealing that jane norton would have been a lot tougher in november. >> is it too soon, david, to pass judgment on the success of the tea party thus far tonight? >> well, the republicans are having a big night in the house. i think on balance they cost them the delaware seat and may
have cost them colorado. on balance you have to say they've energized republicans. they've divorced the republicans from the discredited past republicans. in general they've had a positive effect. i'm very struck by that governor's race in colorado. hicken looper became a railroad very successful mayor of denver. if you took your political stereotype and you took the exact opposite that's him. a very hard to pin down ideologically. i thought he would win in a walk. >> lehrer: the polls showed that from the beginning way up. >> tancredo his defining issue is anti-immigration. if he emerges even in a serious challenger that's going to open up a lot of people's eyes and say, wow, that issue is.... >> lehrer: immigration as an issue. do you agree with that? >> i do. i think david is absolutely right. i mean it was sort of a question as to whether, in fact, hicken looper would win 60%. tancredo was running ahead of the republican who absolutely
cratered. it could result in the republicans losing their automatic ballot status in the future because less than 10% because that's what is required to be a major party in colorado. i would say the real litmus test of the tea party and how people look at it and the success the general election candidate in statewide races is alaska. if in fact the alaska senate race with joe miller, if lisa murkowski or scott mcadams the democrat wins that race and joe miller loses, it will be i think a black eye for the tea party and a real setback for sarah palin. i mean he was her candidate. so i think, we probably won't know that until tomorrow. the 18th of november when they start counting the write-in ballots up there. it will be interesting if the senate is hanging in balance on that. >> lehrer: i look forward to talking to you again then. thank you. >> ifill: and the non-election
developments of this day. at least 76 iraqis were killed in a bombing blitz aimed at shiites in baghdad. new violence in afghanistan took the lives of three more nato troops. there was no word on their nationalities. mail bombs exploded outside two embassies in athens, greece, but no one was hurt. and in germany, police disarmed a bomb sent from greece to chancellor angela merkel's office. hari sreenivasan is in our news room. >> sreenivasan: let's take a look at first up south carolina governor still a very, very close race. this is republican nicky haley there up by just a percent over democrat vincent shaheen. the governor's race in ohio also pretty close. democrat ted strickland governor ted strickland under john kasich by 2% right there and then we're going to florida now. a couple of races we're starting to see a little bit of a pulp away. republican rick scott up by about 5% over democrat sink.
to the illinois goff... goff inner's race there. pat quinn is leading now by almost 10%. over republican bill brady. gwen, back to you. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. r>> lehrer: i'm jim leer. we'll see you online for a special web cast starting in a few minutes at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. and again here later tonight for a pbs newshour election special at 11:00 p.m. eastern. and of course on the newshour tomorrow night. for now, thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: